This film is part of Free

Chesterfield May Day 1978

Politics, partying, and a penalty shoot-out at the Derbyshire town's inaugural May Day bank holiday funfair

Amateur film 1978 11 mins Silent


Chesterfield's first ever early May bank holiday might have been a soggy one, but punters and political activists alike don't seem to care here. Members of the labour movement march through the town, before this amateur film turns its attention to the funfair on Stand Road Park. Look out for the master of ceremonies sheltering from the elements in his van - as well as a magnificently muddy football match.

The Government's granting of an early May bank holiday was thought likely to stir up passionate left-wing sentiment given its proximity to (and occasional overlap with) International Workers' Day on the first of the month. The Chesterfield celebrations were especially renowned for a strong socialist presence, and the intertitles here claim thousands of attendees on the day. The "jobs crisis" banners now have an extra poignancy given that many of the Derbyshire collieries - seen in the background of several shots - would close over the next decade.